Migraine headaches are very common, affecting 12% of the worldwide population. Migraine headaches usually start in response to a specific trigger. Usually there is mild pain that escalates to severe pain, characterized by throbbing or pulsing headache, often affecting one side of the head. Associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine sufferers may feel sensory warning symptoms, called an aura, before onset of the headaches. Migraines seem to run in families. The mainstay of therapy is a group of drugs called “triptans” which work by blocking the release of pro inflammatory compounds in the brain. These are fairly effective for aborting or lessening harshness of migraine headaches. Unfortunately, side effects can be significant and can include rebound headaches, pain or chest tightness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or warmth, redness, or tingling beneath the skin. Triptans will also be costly, and several insurance firms restrict the amount of these medications that can be dispensed to patients. Another group of medicines called ergot alkaloids will also be prescribed for migraines, but they are less efficient than triptans.
Unfortunately, little research exists that proves the mechanism in which cannabinoids alleviate migraines, inspite of the overwhelming anecdotal reports from patients suffering with them. Recent surveys show that migraine headaches might be because of endocannabinoid deficiency and abnormal inflammatory response. Keep in mind that the endocannabinoid system exists to keep up cellular homeostasis. Often migraine sufferers are convinced that headaches begin in reaction to a trigger, such as bright light, hunger, hormones, or certain smells or foods. The trigger event causes an imbalance inside the brain, which ought to then trigger the production of endocannabinoids to keep homeostasis. If one is deficient in endocannabinoids, the imbalance continues, ultimately causing development of the migraine headache. The trigger could also cause inflammation, which may become uncontrollable and contribute to the resulting pain.
The few studies that have looked at the link between migraines as well as the ECS are summarized here:
Endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids inhibited receptors that control vomiting and pain, trying to block these symptoms. THC reduces serotonin release (which blocks vomiting and pain) from the platelets of human migraine sufferers.
Cannabinoids were found to bind to areas of the periaqueductal gray matter (an section of the brain that modulates pain transmission) which have been implicated in migraine generation.Three cases were reported of chronic heavy users of cannabis developing severe migraine attacks after abrupt cessation of use; authors suggested that these rebound attacks are like similar rebound headaches gone through by migraine patients once they abruptly stop other migraine treatment. Genes that permit for increased inflammation were present in migraine patients rather than present in control subjects.
Endocannabinoid levels were decreased in patients with chronic migraine and medication-over-use headaches suggesting that endocannabinoid dysfunction is associated with both of these chronic conditions
Cannabis has been used for hundreds of years to take care of headaches. Medical cannabis patients are discovering relief of pain, less nausea, and sleep. Patients also report less frequency and fewer harshness of their migraine headaches with medical cannabis use. A number of well known trigger factors for migraine headaches, specifically sleep deprivation and anxiety or stress, are alleviated with cannabis, thereby reducing the number of migraine attacks. Patients also report that they save money health care dollars on expensive migraine medications, have less missed days in school or at work, and have overall improved total well being.
There is absolutely no question that THC-rich cannabis may help abort or lessen the seriousness of a migraine, particularly when taken at the start of the discomfort. Some patients are convinced that low-dose, regular use of THC-rich medicine significantly reduces frequency and severity of the headaches. Other patients report that daily CBD-rich cannabis prevents migraine from occurring. When the headache begins, a rapid delivery method including inhalation or sublingual tincture is desirable to most. Specific strain choice comes from testing for the majority of patients.
Most cannabinoids are classified under schedule 1 from the Federal Controlled Substances Act 1970, together with heroin and ecstacy. Hence they can not be prescribed by physicians, and also by implication, do not have accepted medical use with a high abuse potential. Despite their legal status, hallucinogens and cannabinoids are used by patients for relief of headache, helped through the growing quantity of American states which have legalized medical marijuana. Cannabinoids in particular possess a long past of use in the abortive cuudpe and prophylactic treatment of migraine before prohibition and therefore are still used by patients being a migraine abortive in particular. Most practitioners are unacquainted with the prominence cannabis or “marijuana” once locked in medical practice. Hallucinogens are being increasingly employed by cluster headache patients outside physician recommendation mainly to abort a cluster period and maintain quiescence that there is considerable anecdotal success. The legal status of cannabinoids and hallucinogens has for a long time severely inhibited medical research, and you can still find no blinded studies on headache subjects, that we might assess true efficacy.